Oum (singer)

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Oum 01 (fcm).jpg
Oum in 2016
Background information
Native name
أم الغيث بنت الصحراوي
Born (1978-04-18) 18 April 1978 (age 41)
Casablanca, Morocco

Oum El Ghaït Benessahraoui[1] (Arabic: أم الغيث بنت الصحراوي‎), better known as Oum (Arabic: أوم‎, born 18 April 1978[2][3] in Casablanca[2]), is a Moroccan singer-songwriter. Considered an ambassador of Moroccan culture,[4] she mixes hassani, jazz, gospel, soul, afrobeat and Sufi music influences in her songs.[4]


At a very young age, Oum joined a gospel choir where she played her first solos at fourteen with a voice that impressed the listeners.[5]

At seventeen, her first song, "This is your heart" that she wrote to support the charity operation "Les malades du cœur", helped to successfully secure her first appearance on television.[5]

In 1996, she entered the National School of Architecture in Rabat.[5] She pursued her studies there until graduation in 2002.[5]

At the same time, she began to perform in public.[5] With a powerful and expressive voice, she takes over the repertoire of Aretha Franklin, Ella Fitzgerald or Whitney Houston.[5]

In 1998, Oum did her first attempts with hip-hop and RnB with Djo Catangana, a producer and creator of the French hip hop collective Mafia Trece.[5]

In 2002, she was noticed by Philippe Delmas who invited her to Paris. For two years, she alternated recording sessions and concerts in Casablanca with the Brotherwood band.[5] In 2004, she ended up her Parisian experience.[5]

Back to her homeland Morocco, she enters new musical universes: the Gnaoui and the Hassani.[5] Oum's decision to introduce such local forms of rhythms not only influenced her songs' tunes but also her lyrics. She performs with Barry, a musician known for his fusion of musical styles and repertoires, on the stages of the Gnaoua World Music Festival in Essaouira, the Tanjazz in Tangier and the Barcelona Acció Musical in Barcelona.[5]

Oum, who grew up in Marrakech, is a soul singer. Yet, her style remains unique since it's highly inspired by influences such as the Hassani poetry (Moroccan desert culture) and African rhythms.

Her first album Lik 'Oum appeared in Casablanca in May 2009.[6]

Whowa, means "him" in dialectical Moroccan Darija in the first single from her second album Sweerty -means luck in Moroccan dialectical Arabic (Darija), was released with a video clip in January 2010. In July 2012, she released Harguin a collaboration with Blitz the Ambassador on the theme of illegal immigration from sub-Saharan Africa. Sweerty is released in 2012.[7]

Oum was invited to the UNESCO headquarters in Paris on the occasion of International Women's Day to give a concert on 7 March 2012.[8]

She was invited in June 2013 to take part in the Gnaoua World Music Festival in Essaouira (Morocco).[9]

In September 2015, she released her fourth album: Zarabi which means "carpets" in Moroccan Darija and it is a tribute to the carpet weavers of the village of M'Hamid El Ghizlane. She wrote and co-directed it with Mathis Haug. Yacir Rami accompanied her on the Oud and Rhani Krija on the percussions.

Her song Taragalte from the album Soul of Morocco was used in the 2018 movie Beirut (film).



Lik'Oum[10] (2009)
click [show] to see the tracks
8."Menni Lik"7:38
Total length:35:00
Sweerty[11] (2012)
click [show] to see the tracks
1."Bird in Cage"5:57
2."On the Wall"5:36
3."Little Girl"4:03
5."Heaven Blue"4:56
6."On the Moon"4:06
8."Oum Maysan"5:08
10."Harguin (feat. Blitz The Ambassador)"4:28
11."Love Is Alive"5:09
13."Soul Trap"6:19
15."Oum Song (bonus track, feat. Manu Dibango)"3:38
Total length:72:55
Soul of Morocco[12](2013)
click [show] to see the tracks
8."Menni Lik"11:18
Total length:= 57:00
Zarabi[13] (2015)
click [show] to see the tracks
5."Ah Wah"4:55
10."Veinte Años"5:10
Total length:45:00


  1. Oum featuring Barry : Dear Mamma (2003)
  2. Hamdoullah (2004)
  3. Daym Allah (2004)
  4. Africa (2004})
  5. Humilité (2005)
  6. La Ti'ass feat. H. Kayne (2008)
  7. Hip Hop Exchange Featuring H-Kayne & Tote King (2009)
  8. Lik (2009)
  9. Oum featuring Don Bigg : Lik (2010)
  10. Taragalte (Soul of Morocco) (2013)


  1. ^ Oum El Ghaït is her first name et means " Mère de la délivrance ". Cf. "Oum, le grand mix marocain - JeuneAfrique.com". JeuneAfrique.com (in French). 25 April 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Oum El Ghait Benessahraoui : son actualité sur France Inter". France Inter (in French). Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  3. ^ Harit, Fouâd. "Oum, la dune mélodieuse du Sahara". www.afrik.com. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Oum – Institut des Cultures d'Islam". Institut des Cultures d'Islam (in French). Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Mendelson + Oum + Jean Yves Jouannais + Jean-Raymond Jacob du 14 mai 2013 – France Inter". France Inter (in French). Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  6. ^ "Oum, la chanteuse de Saoul au look coloré arrive au Maroc !". Maghress. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  7. ^ "Nothing found for 2012 01 20 Musique Sortie Du Nouvel Album Doum Intitule Sweerty Le 4 Fevrier Prochain". Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  8. ^ Yabiladi.com. "UNESCO : La Marocaine Oum en concert le 7 mars à Paris". Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  9. ^ "Oum, féminin pluriel". RFI Musique (in French). 9 July 2013. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  10. ^ "Deezer". Deezer. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  11. ^ CD, Lof Music, 2012, no catalogue number
  12. ^ "Deezer". Deezer. Retrieved 18 December 2016.
  13. ^ "Deezer". Deezer. Retrieved 18 December 2016.

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